The Guest List & Six Crimson Cranes

Happy Thursday, y’all! I hope you’re all having a fantastic week. I wish lots of great books on all of you! And now I’m here to share a couple great books that I finished yesterday.

The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

This adult thriller was perfect for me since I’m all about the seasonal reads right now. Lucy Foley wove such a tangled web of ugliness on this creepy island. I enjoy thrillers where I can’t tell if a paranormal element is coming into play until the end, and this is one of those. And, you can’t tell who did “it”, or even what “it” is because there are just so many twisted people at this wedding. It was a fun read, and I gave it 4.5 stars.

Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.

I absolutely loved this book, and I can’t even decide where to start. We have an emperor’s only daughter, Shiori, who is being given into an arranged marriage to Takkan. And to make things interesting, this daughter has magic, which is forbidden. On the day Shiori is to meet her betrothed, she finds herself drowning in a lake while trying to save her paper crane (brought to life) and best friend, Kiki, and is saved by a shapeshifting dragon, Seryu!

Then, Raikama, her stepmother, uses dark magic to place a bowl on Shiori’s head that can’t be removed and has her moved far away. Raikama turns Shiori’s six brothers into cranes. And if Shiori utters a word, one of her brothers will die.

There’s a sweet, slow burn romance that I won’t comment on because I can’t without giving too much away. There are villains coming from multiple angles (sorcerers, demons, and people), and you often can’t tell whether someone is friend or foe. And you have a beautiful sibling bond between Shiori and her brothers. And, of course, Shiori’s bond with Kiki.

Yesterday I was asked if this was appropriate for young teens. The answer is yes, unless the idea of snakes and demons freaks your child out. While there are scary villains, it’s all presented in a fashion that you’d see in a Disney fairytale. There’s romance, but let me say that Shiori wouldn’t even hug her beau long with thoughts of her brothers stepping in. LOL! And that hug doesn’t even come until the very end.

I also want to mention how the story ends. You get a complete story, there’s no cliffhanger to what’s happening in this story. However, you get the stage set for another book, so that makes it feel like you have a big cliffhanger. It definitely left me wanting the rest of the story! 5 Stars!

**************************************

I obviously had a lot more I could say about Six Crimson Cranes than I could with The Guest List. LOL! While completely different stories, I enjoyed them both.

Happy Reading,

Alison

12 thoughts on “The Guest List & Six Crimson Cranes

  1. Great reviews, Ali! I loved Six Crimson Cranes as well and thought it was a fantastic story set in the same world as Lim’s first duology. I can’t wait for the next book to come out 😃 The Guest List sounds great as well and it’s on my TBR! Definitely looks like the perfect seasonal read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Blogger Recognition Award and Book Adaption Tag – Lost in Neverland

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